Introducing Your Better Half to Kayak Fishing

Kayak fishing is largely a male-dominated activity. But more and more women are also ‘getting hooked.’ While some find their way there alone, others are introduced to this great sport through a significant other who’s already a passionate angler.

chris and angie funk
ProStaffer Chris Funk with his wife, Angie


Reasons to fish together can range from a desire to share a passion with the one they’re most passionate about…to just hoping for less resistance when wanting to hit the water to fish!

Either way, bringing your special lady into your world of kayak fishing has a great chance of success if done right.

We’ve asked a few of our Regional Ambassadors and ProStaff for their best tips on introducing your better half to kayak fishing:

Tyler Thiede (Regional Ambassador)

Your better half may enjoy the float more than the fishing aspect. So to start:

Buy, rent or borrow a kayak that’s easy to paddle AND comfortable.

  • If it’s uncomfortable, she won't enjoy herself as much.
  • If it’s a big, wide, stable fishing kayak that’s hard to paddle, she may get frustrated. Consider a kayak that’s faster on the water.

Pack her kayak properly.

  • If she isn’t sure about the fishing part of it yet, just send her with a single rod and some basic tackle. Carry extra on your kayak if needed. The less stuff in her way when starting out, the more she’ll enjoy it.
  • Keep a cooler on her kayak so she won’t depend on you or having to dock together to grab water or snacks.

Give her a proper paddle.

  • Light paddles make a significant difference in paddling efficiency, especially if she’s a novice paddler. A cheap and heavy paddle makes for a poor experience. The Bending Branches Angler Ace is a great balance of cost and weight for new paddlers.  

In fact, give her your best paddle. She’ll enjoy the experience a lot more.

Plan an appropriate float difficulty and duration.

  • Start small—she may not be ready or willing for an all-day float marathon!
  • Plan shorter floats in easier water with the opportunity to stop off at sand bars or beaches.

Chris Funk (National ProStaff)

Long before she became my bride, Angie knew if she was to spend time with me, a good deal of that would be on the water. I promised not to keep her out too long, to bait hooks and remove fish as needed.

Now, almost 26 years later, she’s still my favorite fishing partner. She often catches the biggest and the most fish on every trip. I just chalk that up to me being a better guide than angler when that happens!

The time we spend together on the water is a gift. No TV, no cell phones, few interruptions that don’t have fins, and memories that will last a lifetime.  

Angie is now the proud owner of two kayaks, a matching PFD and a Radiant Bending Branches Angler Pro. If she’s going to be captain of her own vessel, she’ll look good doing it!

She still fishes close enough for me to remove the fish she catches, or we paddle tandem in our Jackson Kilroy DT. But either way, she still usually out-fishes me. I’m perfectly fine with that—I’ll never top a catch like her anyway!

(The photo at the top of this post is of Chris and Angie.)

Christopher Arnold (Regional Ambassador)

My wife and I celebrated our 10th anniversary last August, and she’s joined me numerous times recreational angling.

She’s an experienced paddler, having coached and competed in Olympic-style kayaking. Switching to an OK Trident 13 for her was like paddling a bath tub!

To make her time more enjoyable, I make sure our locations are easily accessible and aesthetically pleasing. We want great weather, mild currents, and fish activity that’s reliable—because hook’n up is very important.

I stay close to assist with landing fish, which is most important. We all know an embedded hook can end your day!

Eron Dodds (National ProStaff)

When I take my wife fishing, I always let her choose the kayak she wishes to paddle and give her the lightest paddle. I also let her choose where we fish out of my 'hotspots' and we paddle at her pace.

Making sure she has the proper tools—like fishgrips, pliers and a net—gives her the confidence to be independent handling and releasing fish.

couple fishing
Eron Dodds and his wife fishing together


The most important thing is to make the day about her and focus on that! I put my personal fishing ambitions and routine aside to cater to her. If she wants to stop on an island for lunch, take pictures or swim that’s what we do.

This makes her experience what she hoped it to be and she gets the most out of her day on the water! There’s no one I’d rather spend a day on the water with.

Couples that paddle together stay together!

Courtney Bennett (Regional Ambassador)

My story is from a totally different stand point as I got my husband into kayak fishing!

My husband had never fished from a kayak. His fishing was done from a bass boat the majority of his life. But, when I said, “Let’s get kayaks!” my husband humored me. We were complete rookies! But as we’re both career educators, we felt up to the task of learning.

Five years have passed and James and I have certainly learned the ins and outs of kayak fishing. We’ve also learned to mesh our fishing styles so we work as a true team on the water.

Courtney and James Bennett enjoy a day on the water together


And of course, there’s always competition between us! Not from the typical male vs. female paradigm, but: "who did their research on bait presentation, patterns, and weather fronts this week?”

Fishing with my husband has brought an added dimension to our marriage. We both have kayak fishing as a hobby to share between us. It's been an amazing opportunity for us to explore and test our limits.

For example, I used to have a tremendous fear of snakes. Since we kayak in snake habitat, I had to overcome that fear. James helped me learn to identify a poisonous snake vs. a non-poisonous snake, which helped.

Now when my husband and I fish together, he takes the lead role as the official snake scout, and I'm good with paddling just slightly behind him!

What About You?

So, as you can see, kayak fishing is crossing over to include more and more women anglers. The next time you and your better half are discussing what to do for your next date night or anniversary, why not bring up the idea of a romantic paddle across a calm body of water in hopes of finding the hot spot where the fish are biting?

It’s a great way to get out and share the beautiful outdoors together. As an added bonus, you could offer to cook up whatever you catch for your romantic dinner upon arriving home—or better yet why wait until home? Shore lunch anyone?!

Thanks to our angling community for your great input!

What paddle questions do you have? Contact our friendly customer service team today: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

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